While voters sought change on Election Day, the Imax board opted for continuity: Directors last Tuesday gave CEO Richard Gelfond a new contract that runs to the end of 2019, replacing the one that expires at the end of this year, according to an SEC filing today.
The new terms guarantee him a $1.2 million annual base salary, up from the $1.1 million he saw in 2015. Gelfond also can receive an annual discretionary incentive bonus targeted to equal his salary but that could go as high as twice the amount. His performance will be determined by whether Imax achieves “goals and objectives” that the board will determine later in consultation with the CEO.
On top of that, Gelfond will receive three annual stock option grants each valued at $3.3 million, vesting in installments. And “as soon as practicable” he’ll collect restricted share units worth $6.6 million. One third will vest at the beginning of 2018, and the rest will vest in six installments over the remainder of his tenure.
If something goes awry and the CEO either is fired without cause or leaves for a good reason, then Imax will pay him his salary and benefits for either 12 months or the remainder of his term — whichever is greater. He also collects his unvested stock and options.
If he leaves because Imax changes hands, then he’ll collect $3.3 million in cash “for each option grant that has not yet been made granted,” the filing says.
Gelfond has been CEO since 2009 and was co-CEO with Bradley Wechsler going back to 1996.
In the company’s most recent proxy filing, the board credited Gelfond for his “significant contributions to our many strategic and operational successes” in 2015, including the large-screen theater company’s expansion into China.
Last year his compensation package totaled $14.5 million,